As part of its commitment to make life better for Nigerians, Airtel on Saturday unveiled the newly renovated WARD-A Block of the prestigious and important tertiary health institutions in West Africa, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
The renovation, which cost the telecom company over N200 million see the WARD-A Block of the hospital equipped with connectivity technologies and solutions.
Speaking at the commissioning/handover of the renovated LUTH Ward, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Surendran Chemmenkotil, said Airtel the renovation of the building is part of Airtel’s commitment to explore more partnerships with governments at various levels and other relevant institutions in building the communities where the company serves.
“At Airtel, we keep our words and promises. We believe that we are a major stakeholder in Nigeria and we have a duty and responsibility to impacting the various communities we serve positively.
“It is our hope that this facility will further enhance the delivery of healthcare services in Nigeria and help foster healthcare inclusion especially among those who are in the lower rung of society.
“Airtel is committed to partnerships that will help make life better for Nigerians. We thank the management and leadership of LUTH as well as the Minister of Health and the Federal Health Ministry for designing and implementing a clear roadmap for affordable and quality healthcare for Nigerians,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof Chris Bode, while appreciating the gesture displayed by Airtel, said the renovation of the WARD-A Building with modern equipment will go a long way in delivering quality health care services to Nigerians.
“Our unreserved gratitude goes to Airtel Nigeria for this far-sighted good deed,” he said.
He disclosed that Airtel has been a worthy partner with the hospital by walking every step of the Covid-19 journey, by giving the hospital’s Psychosocial and Emotional Support Group 81 telephone lines to reach out to patients and their families following diagnosis and, in the course, treating over 20000 patients in the megacity of Lagos.
According to him, Airtel also provided Airtime for 3 months on each of these phone lines when the hospital needed them the most.
“At the height of the first wave of the pandemic outbreak in Lagos about May-June 2020, the fear of a possible upsurge requiring more bed-space for admissions was real. Messrs Airtel Nigeria rose to the occasion, offering to help LUTH rehabilitate Block A to operationalise another 111-bed capacity at a cost of over N200 million. Messrs Airtel Nigeria stripped the building from rooftop to floor-base and replaced it, plumbing and all,” he stated.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire extended the appreciation of the Federal Government to Airtel Nigeria for the excellent project, which he noted will further increase the capacity of LUTH to deliver on its performance objectives.
“I am happy to note that Airtel Nigeria walked each step of the Covid-19 journey partnering with LUTH: a partnership which also saw the Company donate 81 telephone lines to the hospital’s Psychosocial and Emotional Support Group, which reached out to provide psychosocial support to patients and their families following Covid-19 diagnosis, and reached over 20,000 patients in the Lagos metropolis, with Airtime provided for 3 months in each phone line,” he said.
He argued that in no country can Government alone fund healthcare and it is in that regard that more Private sector investment in the Nigerian healthcare sector must be encouraged.
According to him, with such investment and the skilled and dedicated manpower, the sky is the limit on Nigeria’s quest to improve the quality of care in Nigeria, stressing that as endowed as LUTH presently seems, there is room for value addition as Corporate Social Responsibility or investments that upgrade existing facilities, bridge infrastructure gaps and introduce cutting edge equipment and technology.
While calling on the management and staff of the Hospital to put the renovated ward to good use and keep it well maintained to justify the generosity of Airtel to LUTH, he urged other multinational companies to emulate Airtel in carrying out their Corporate Social Responsibility.